67

The question is not "When can you enforce your laws on your land?", the question is "When can you prevent the United Kingdom from enforcing their laws on your land?". That's the case if any of these is true: You have an army strong enough to keep the UK government forces out of your country (being an armed insurgency would likely not yet give you ...


53

The British East India Company would seem to come close. From Wikipedia: By 1803, at the height of its rule in India, the British East India company had a private army of about 260,000—twice the size of the British Army, with Indian revenues of £13,464,561 (equivalent to £225.3 million in 2018) and expenses of £14,017,473 (equivalent to £234.5 million in ...


32

A monarch by definition is the sovereign: A monarch is a sovereign head of state in a monarchy. A monarch may exercise the highest authority and power in the state […] an individual may become monarch by conquest, acclamation or a combination of means. As (possibly) said by France's Louis XIV: L’État, c’est moi. or, in English: I am the State. ...


29

EU member states retain full sovereignty -- there's not even such a thing as partial sovereignty. Sovereign states can voluntarily delegate some or even all of their powers to either smaller areas (devolution and local government) or larger areas (international treaties and unions). As long as those powers can be reclaimed by the state, then that doesn't ...


29

No list is complete without the Dutch Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie (a.k.a. Dutch East India Company). Some excerpts from the Wikipedia page: The Company, for nearly 200 years of its existence (1602–1800), had effectively transformed itself from a corporate entity into a state or an empire in its own right ... The company was historically an ...


28

The Sovereign Military Order of Malta is almost definitely the best example that's still in existence. It was founded in Jerusalem in 1048 by Italian merchants as a church and a hospital. Not quite a modern company, but definitely not a country either. At several points in their history, they managed to hold sovereignty over land (first Cyprus, then Rhodes, ...


26

The misconception in your question is meaning of "buy a plot of land". In the strictest sense, you can't. The Crown retains the ultimate ownership (Allodial Title) of all land in England and Wales. When we talk about buying land that's really a shorthand for buying a Freehold, which is a more abstract entity - it gives you a set of rights over a parcel of ...


25

There are many such separatist movements around the world. Whether they win or not is a question of power. Can they win the recognition of the international community? Or do powerful outside interests have reason to prefer the existing national state? Here is a list of ten examples. Regarding the specific case of Somliland, the author states: The major ...


24

Here's a partial answer: First, the government of Somalia doesn't recognize Somaliland. Any recognition of Somaliland would come over the objections of Somalia. The global community is more reluctant to legitimize such unilateral separatism. The Somaliland separatists historically had minimal economic/military clout or foreign alliances, so no one has gone ...


16

It has been a very long time since a nobility title meant a legal claim to the land. For example, some Arthur Wellesley guy was: Duke and Marquess of Wellington Prince of Waterloo, of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Duke of Ciudad Rodrigo (Spain) Duke of the Victory (from Portugal, but where exactly is "The Victory"?) and Marques of Torres Vedras among ...


16

Take a look at the Wikipedia article on micronations. What you do is stake a claim to some territory - which doesn't have to be actual land, it could e.g. be a platform on the sea, a ship, etc - and then declare independence. Now you get to make your own laws, issue your own currency, and so on. Jeff Bezos could in principle do this. As for who would stop ...


15

When a national government fines an internet company and the internet company evades that fine by removing any physical presence from that country, the government has several options, ranging from least to most collateral damage: Use it as a bargain chip when negotiating with their lobbyists. Many internet companies do lots of government lobbying in order ...


12

Satellites, the (discontinued) shuttle project and ISS are governed by space law, national airspace laws don't necessarily apply, or are supplemented / amended by international / billateral agreements, on a case by case basis. That said, the vertical extent of national airspace is a matter of debate. A logical upper limit is the point where outer space ...


12

The most practical route is probably via a (hostile) takeover of an existing state. William I, Duke of Normandy, succeeded in this approach in 1066. He assembled a mercenary army promising to pay them from the spoils of conquering England. A modern billionaire, if he so wished, might be able to install himself as ruler of some minor state by bribing the ...


12

Other answers give good examples, but an outstanding case of an individual creating his own country for his own benefit was king Leopold II of Belgium and the Congo Free State. King Leopold, not in his official role but as a private individual, successfully managed to explore the Congo basin and have its sovereignty over it recognised by other countries. ...


11

By becoming a member state of the European Union a country's governing body and it's judiciary looses some of its ability to legislate within certain domestic and international policy areas. This voluntary loss of legislative power could arguably considered not permanent; EU members states have the right to withdraw from the union and regain their full ...


11

There's only one international set of criteria - the recognition by other countries. No political power is interested in creating an objective set of criteria - the power of recognition of a country is too meaningful for their national interests. However, the theoreticals can state the criteria for the country. It is the internal and external sovereignty - ...


9

Each country chooses which other countries it diplomatically recognizes. However a general and well-used way to establish whether it is seen in the international community is whether or not it is recognized in the UN. Some countries such as The Holy See (Vatican) & State of Palestine hold observer status in the UN whilst are not officially recognized as ...


9

I believe that the best answer is that you look at the 1962 UN Convention on the High Seas. That is where the idea of a "flag country" is defined under international law. The short answer is: no, ships are not sovereign territory when on the high seas, no matter how they are flagged or registered. The ship's registration does, however, determine how things ...


9

Generally speaking, if you own the land (on a national level), you own everything underneath it. I can't find any precedent where that is untrue. For instance, Chile and Argentina have a treaty allowing mining operations to straddle their border in the Andes In 1997, the presidents of Chile and Argentina signed the Mining Integration Treaty allowing ...


9

The Hanseatic league mostly around the Baltic was statelike. The Hanseatic League was a commercial and defensive confederation of merchant guilds and market towns in Northwestern and Central Europe. Growing from a few North German towns in the late 1100s, the league came to dominate Baltic maritime trade for three centuries along the coasts of Northern ...


8

There is no commonly accepted definition. Every government decides for themselves which other states they recognize. Often these are not objective criteria (defined territory, permanent population, functioning government etc.) but rather political considerations. A good example are North- and South-Korea which the whole world recognizes as clearly two ...


8

In the UK, there is the concept of Primary and Secondary legislation - primary legislation consists of the acts passed by Parliament, while secondary legislation consists of the regulations put in place by executive agencies and regulatory bodies that implement primary legislation. Under the UKs doctrine of Parliamentary Sovereignty, not even the Supreme ...


7

It does not work that way. Basically, if you control the territory you can make the laws (the state is the monopoly of violence, by one definition). If you are a few people but nobody challenges your claim, you are a nation. It being "micro" or not is not really an issue. Of course, the question with your plan is the UK government is, to put it lightly, ...


7

I believe that the Holy See (i.e. the Pope) could fulfill your requirements. The accompanying state (Vatican City) is often seen as the relevant entity. However, one should consider that the pope is an absolute monarch, the papal legates and the seat in the U.N. assembly refer to the Holy See, not the Vatican. The Vatican also only exists because of the ...


6

A Google news search for the past 25 years, as well as a BIA (Bureau of Indian Affairs, the agency which negotiates Native American issues with the US government) news search has not uncovered any news "Native American independence" groups or movements. A group calling itself The Lakota Freedom Delegation exists and is seeking a "Republic of the Lakotah" (i....


6

A state is souvereign when other states accept it as such. Whether or not one accepts a state is usually a question of what's in ones political interest. You might want to look at Wikipedia's list of states with limited recognition and look at the backgrounds for more information about why a state would or would not recognize another state. So if a ...


6

On the other hand, it is quite obvious, that these claims are not regarded as problematic political issues, but I really don't understand how this can be. The quick, simple answer is that no one cares any more. Once upon a time, when monarchical titles carried real authority and the financial and political ramifications of that authority, wars were ...


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